tv Face the Nation CBS February 5, 2012 10:30am-11:00am EST
>> schieffer: today on face the nation, romney wins another one as the campaign moves west. the wild west. >> thank you, nevada. >> schieffer: that's three wins out of five contests for romney but newt gingrich says he's just begun to fight. >> we will continue to campaign all the way to tampa. >> schieffer: we'll be with us this morning to tell us how he plans to do that. and he's not the only one who claims the week reenergized him. check the late night comics. >> but for me, there's been an emptiness, something missing for quite some time now from the race. a mobile shaped hole in my heart. and then this morning, donald
trump expected to make a major announcement about the presidential race. >> dr. lapook: thank god. >> schieffer: the donald endorsed romney just after the frontrunner came up with one of those "what was he thinking" sound bites. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. >> schieffer: excuse me. >> we have a safety net to help those that are very poor but my campaign is focused on middle-income americans. >> if you're a genuine conservative, first of all you don't say that you don't care about the poor. >> schieffer: how is all this playing with republicans around the country? former new york mayor rudy giuliani will be here to talk about that. plus analysis from michael, co-author of the real romney and our own john dickerson and norah o'donnell. so strike up the band.
♪ for purple mountains imagine gee above the fruited plains ♪ (singing off key). >> schieffer: this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning again. welcome to "face the nation." as you probably heard by now, mitt romney did win big in nevada yesterday. newt gingrich, ron paul, rick santorum trailing. as we've done for weeks now we invited governor romney to be with us but his campaign declined so we say hello again to newt gingrich. mr. speaker, i feel inclined to give you equal time. would you like to sing something, a brief tune for us? >> i couldn't decide which of those two things was your funny introduction. i think clint eastwood once said a man should know his
limitations. i'm not singing. calista is the singer in our family. i'm the listener. >> schieffer: what do you see now, mr. speaker, as your path to the nomination? there are no debates almost until the end of the month here. that's been a place where you managed to hang in here. how do you do it now if you are indeed going to stay in? >> well, i think you focus on very big differences. you just had one a minute ago. governor romney's description that he doesn't worry about the poor because they have a safety net. i think conservatives in fact do worry about helping every american pursue happiness. and conservatives recognize that the safety net often becomes a spider web that keeps people trapped at the bottom. what we want to build is a trampoline to help them rise into prosperous middle class status. what we're going to do over the month of february is lay out very big choices. i have a very bold tax plan. the wall street journal said it was the most aggressive job- creation program. they describe romney's as so
timid, it would have been obama's. i have a very bold social security plan for young people to allow them to have a personal social security savings account. the governor is very timid. we have a very bold program for developing new approaches to block-granting welfare back to the states. the governor is basically very timid. my goal will be over the course of ten to show that there is a way to change washington. there's a way to get us back on the right track. it's different from obama and it's different from romney. i hope by the time we get to super tuesday we'll have made the day's that a genuine conservative is a dramatically better choice to defeat barack obama than somebody who is in many ways frankly not very distinguishable from president obama. >> schieffer: i take your point. there are no debates scheduled. how are you going to get your message out because everybody knows you don't have an organization like he does. you don't have the money that he has. >> but what we do have is a
lot of people, a lot of popular support. at newt.org we now have 160,000 donors. we have thousands more signing up every week. 97% of them by the way are under $250. so we have a pretty big grass roots movement in every single state. when you look at, for example, the last two... the primary in south carolina and the primary in florida, an interesting side effect. in florida every county that i carried-- and i carried most of the northern counties in the state-- every county that i carried had an increase in turnout over last time. every county that governor romney carried had a decrease in turnout over last time. in south carolina we set the record. we had a one-third increase in turnout so my job all the way to super tuesday and beyond to texas, my goal is with governor perry's help and others to basically be tied in delegates by the time we come out of texas. my job is to communicate that, in fact, there is a very big choice.
to do that on television with you, to do it on talk radio to do it through the internet, to do it with paid media. we had a very good series of fund-raising meetings and calls over the last couple of days. there's a large number of people who, when they look at governor romney's background, and they look at how similar romney-care and obama-care are, they look at his job creation record which is the third worst in the country. 48,000 manufacturing jobs lost while he was governor. combination of tax increases and romney-care driving jobs out of the state. they look at values. he was pro abortion, pro gun control. i think there are a lot of people coming to me and saying, we need one conservative candidate as an alternative. they're prepared to help raise money to be that candidate. >> schieffer: let me ask you this. you said something back in iowa to norah o'donnell and to myself that really stuck with us. we asked, are you saying flatly that mitt romney is a liar? and he said yes. of and then i said, well, having said that, if he does
get the nomination, could you support him? and you said yes. well, things have gotten a even a lot nastier than it was out there. since then. do you think that if he does get the nomination, are you prepared to say you can still support him? >> look, i believe that president obama is such a direct threat to the future of this country that i will support the republican nominee because i think the re-election of president obama is a disaster. just take the one example in the last ten days. of the war against the catholic church which the obama administration has launched which is the most outrageous assault on religious liberty in american history. this is an administration which consistently, again and again, now they're negotiating with the taliban, they're steadily incrementally accommodating radical islamism. every time you turn around, the obama administration, which has a plan by the way at the environmental protection agency to add 25 cents a gallon to every gallon of
gasoline at a time when it's already the highest price in history. i will tell you, i think president obama is so unacceptable that i will support the republican nominee. that doesn't mean that i approve of governor romney's approach. but compared to president obama, i think there will be no choice. >> schieffer: let me ask you just one question about something that's not directly about the campaign. this situation in syria has really taken a turn for the worse. president obama is saying assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes now and that he must step aside. is there anything we can do beyond that or should we? >> well i think a lot of things we could do covertly in temples of supplying weapons, supplying... helping people in the region supply advisors. i think we should make clear to the world that assad is going to go. and i think you can put together a coalition to get rid of him. i don't think you need to use american troops. but you do need to communicate that those who are opposed to
assad will get the kind of support they need. in order to defeat him. >> schieffer: mr. gingrich, thank you very much for stopping by. we hope to see you again before all this is over. appreciate you coming by this morning. i want to turn now to somebody who has been watching us from afar. rudy giuliani is out in indianapolis this morning. i can't imagine why. >> (laughing). >> schieffer: mr. mayor, are you prepared to endorse anyone other than the new york giants today? >> (laughing) not yet. i'm listening very carefully. i know all of these men very well. i have very high regard for them. i've become concerned when they start attacking each other not in general but when they start attacking each other as if they're democrats. when newt began with the attack on romney with regard to bain capital a couple of weeks ago. he ceased from that. or vice versa when romney attacked newt over some of the ways in which he's earned his
money. the best thing for us would be if newt said everything after his first comment, which are the issues of the campaign. there is a difference. they have big differences over romney-care. they have big differences over taxes. newt's plan on taxes is better than governor romney's plan. it is exactly as he said bolder. newt is much more willing to make dramatic changes in the way the government operates. if it were just one conservative candidate of rick santorum annuity gingrich could agree somehow, toss a coin or have a good discussion, i think it would be a much more interesting race. >> schieffer: when you say you have-- and you've had some pretty strong things to say. i just want to put up on the screen a couple of things you have said. regarding gingrich, you said, what the hell are you doing? newt, attacking romney on bain capital? and then on romney you said, "i've never seen a guy change his positions on so many
things so fast on a dime, on everything." go ahead. >> well, i think maybe i reflect some of the confusion that all those republicans out there have that are having a hard time making up their minds. to credit newt with what he did was, i did make those comments. newt called me. we talked it over. newt explained why he had said what he said. i thought he was wrong but he had an explanation for it. then he stopped it. i mean, he's moved on to the issues in the campaign. governor romney, i think that's the big issue with governor romney. i think that's the reason why he's having a hard time getting to that 50, 51, 52, 53%. newt pointed it out before when he was interviewing you. he has changed his position virtually on everything. he was a traditional moderate republican, strong on fiscal matters, conservative, strong on foreign policy, but basically socially moderate. he changed all that. i am a moderate republican.
that's what i am. so i'd be inclined to support someone like mitt romney. but all those changes in positions give me pause. like newt, my major concern is defeating barack obama. i want to be careful that we conduct an issues of oriented campaign that grows these candidate and doesn't destroy them. >> schieffer: let me ask you this. as you watch all this unfold, are you sorry now that you didn't run this time? >> no, no. (laughing) if mitt romney having changed all those positions isn't conservative enough yet, believe me, i wouldn't have had a chance. i'm realistic enough to know how iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, florida, how they would vote. they would like me on economics. they would like me on national security but they couldn't wouldn't like me on my social views and i'm not about to change them. they are very much with me. >> schieffer: you brought up something very interesting or at least it's been interesting to me. you said i am a moderate
republican. are there moderate republicans out there anymore? is there such a thing as what be used to see as the republican establishment? >> i consider myself a conservative because that's what the "new york times" always said about me when i was the mayor. when i look at the whole picture of republicans, on two areas-- gay rights and on choice-- i would be considered a moderate. i don't necessarily consider myself that way. in order to describe myself i'm more than will to go say that i am. both of those positions are positions of conscience to me. i can't change them. even if i got elected president, even if i could be elected president, i couldn't change those positions. i wouldn't be able to function properly and honestly if i did. >> schieffer: do you worry right now... you talk about some of the conservatives ought to drop out here. that what you're saying that probably rick santorum ought to excuse himself? >> i can't decide for either one of them who would be the
better candidate. they both have arguments that they're better candidates. that's a really hard thing to do. you're not get ago true picture of what the opposition to governor romney is because it's split. it may remain that way. if governor romney is the nominee i'm certainly going to support him. he is so much better than president obama on the economy, on national security. i think newt made a very good point about this attack on the catholic church. here i am a pro-choice republican but i think the attack on the catholic church is outrageous. i think it's a violation of the first amendment of the constitution. and i think it's a real indication of how far left the obama administration has gone. >> schieffer: do you think this primary season so far has actually hurt republicans or has it helped them some. >> hard to say. i remember, like you do, way back the reagan-bush primary when bush did the view due economics against reagan.
so they could never get together and reagan picked him as vice presidential candidate. these things can get pretty bitter. the race between obama and hillary clinton was truly vicious, even charges of racism and all sorts of things. they not only got it together. she's now his secretary of state. i guess the short answer to it is no i think actually think it isn't hurting yet. i do think some of the democrat-inspired criticism of the canned dates... candidates like seizing on governor romney's comment about the poor. i understand what he was saying. what he was saying was there is support for the poor. of course it should be better. of course it should be more effective and of course it should be geared toward moving people into the middle class. but it's there. there's support for the rich. they have their own. it's in that middle class area, even if gap in health care is basically middle class, lower middle class people not poor people. i think that's what he was talking about. >> schieffer: mr. mayor, we thank you for coming by.
we always enjoy hearing your side of it. thanks a lot for coming. back in a minute. >> thank you very much. >> schieffer: back in a minute with our political panel. [ female announcer ] goodnight gluttony, a farewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation.
good morning unequaled inspiration. [ male announcer ] the audi a8, chosen by car & driver as the best luxury sedan in a recent comparison test. we're back now with our round table. a reporter for the boston globe, co-author of the real romney. plus our political dynamic duo chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell and political director john dickerson. michael, i want to first say, this is really a good book. i'm about halfway into it. it's not the basic campaign book. this is really a little bit of history. you have done a tremendous amount of research. let me ask you this. are you surprised with all of the research-- this book was five years in the making, i think. has governor romney said anything that surprised you so far? >> it's interesting. you know, twice in the last couple of weeks he said that was a mistake.
i made a mistake. for example, not releasing the tax returns when he was pressured by people who were his strong supporters saying do it now. he finally did it. he said it was a mistake not to do it earlier. he said i'm not very concerned about the poor, the way he worded it was wrong and after a couple of days he said that's a mistake its not the kind of thing he likes to say. he doesn't like to project that image. he's really to to listen to some of the folks outside the inner circle who are saying you really have to get ahead of this. this is causing problems. >> schieffer: john dickerson, put it all in perspective now. gingrich says he's hanging around for the long haul. how does this work out? can he do this. >> it's very hard. romney has had a consecutive win which we haven't seen so far in this primary. he's trying to start the victory parade. gingrich is trying to convince us he's not on a death march to tampa. gingrich has a lot of obstacles. of the seven remaining contests romney has won four in the past in 2008. he has a lot more money than gingrich. what we've seen in nevada and
we saw it in florida too, organization matters. romney's group has been preparing for a long fight. that matters in terms of turning out your vote but getting on the right page keeping a single message. those are challenges for gingrich and also he's got to find, as you quite rightly pointed out, he has to find a way to break into the cycle. he has a lot of different messages. he may be able to nick romney a bit. he needs to explain to people why he's the alternative, why he's the general election candidate. he just doesn't have the opportunities to do that. >> schieffer: it's an uphill fight for him but it's not over yet. >> not at all. he best when he's behind. when everybody is counting him out, in fact, he should design a way for that to happen because that s when he really comes on strong. now everybody is counting him out. it's time for him to come back if this campaign is any judge, as he's come back already two or three times. >> schieffer: norah o'donnell you cover the white house. you're there every day. we keep asking people from the obama campaign to come on "face the nation" and give us their thoughts about how it's going. so far they say no.
why do you think that is? >> well, it is almost as if the obama team is taking a bye week while the republicans tear each other apart on the republican primary process field. but i think it's a strategic decision that the longer this primary process goes on, the more they see that it drives romney to the right. and it will shorten the amount of time that he can court the independent vote. that of course going to decide this election. quite frankly if you look at the polls, you see that romney's disapproval rating among independents has actually spiked recently. president obama is focused on the message that he laid out in his state of the union address, talking about housing, jobs, and trying to push up his numbers among independents. >> schieffer: michael, why do you think mitt romney has such a hard time, for want of a better word, connecting with people? >> you know, mitt romney really grew up in a series of bubbles. a very wealthy community. his father was the governor. went on mormon mission for
two-and-a-half years and to harvard and a world of private equity. he wasn't a mayor. he didn't run for city counselor. he's not a glad-hander who goes out for drinks with the guys obviously. he hasn't had that throughout his life. it's been a difficulty for him. he also saw what happened to his father who said i was brain washed by the generals in vietnam. he hasn't done aate low of interviews. he doesn't want to be scripted. sometimes it causes problems when he gets off the script. >> schieffer: norah, where does this go now? when will the white house start getting into this? >> it's a great question. i think they are going to sit and wait and see how long newt gingrich can last. newt says he's going all the way to tamp tampa but if newt is still in it, they'll pull back. super tuesday on march 6. the end of march or april before we see president obama launch his whole campaign style swing where he really engages with mitt romney by name. we saw the president dying this week i think to take mitt romney on not by name but he
drew con trafs with him on housing. he drew contrasts with him on the auto industry. he even sort of offered a slight attack when romney made that gaffe about not caring about poor people. the president has yet to directly engage with mitt romney. >> schieffer: is there a possibility there might be a debate ated this month, john? that's clearly what newt gingrich wants. >> he would love that but the romney campaign has gone back into that kind of careful mode again. they don't want to debate. he did quite well. we should remember he did well in a lot of these debates and in the last two in florida. >> schieffer: apparently the campaign thought he was getting too much publicity. >> didn't him to get too much credit. i think a debate would be nice for us. i don't think it's going to happen. >> schieffer: back in a minute with some final thoughts. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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finally today, i have a confession here. my expertise in roman numeralology goes to about 20. once we go beyond double-x, i have no idea what number we're talking about so i couldn't tell you how many super bowls today's game will make but like a good part of america i will be watching this one at least off and again. i have been known to nod off in front of the tv on a sunday evening. so i may miss a play or two. i've always thought that the benefit of sports is that no matter how passionate we become about our favorite team, none of it really matters. today's game will have no impact on the price of bread or the search for a cancer cure. but it does give us a break. we can put aside worries about things that do matter and focus on something that doesn't. doctors say that's good for us. changing the subject rests the brain-recharges the batteries. the trouble is, sports are no
longer the only option to worry about something that doesn't matter. as i've been watching the breakdown in our political system, congress's inability to do anything and the growing disconnect between our campaigns and the country's real problems, i have to wonder once all this is over, will any of it matter anymore? than who wins the super bowl? there is one difference. the state of our politics still keeps me up nights. by the time the super bowl is over, i'm usually sound asleep. back in a minute. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities.